When men make less money than their female partners, they tend to do more chores around the home than men who earn more money than their wives or girlfriends, according to a new paper in the journal Work, Employment and Society. But no matter who makes more than whom, women still do the bulk of the housework, reports Clare Lyonette of the Warwick Institute for Employment Research.
The study wasn’t huge: Lyonette interviewed 36 women and 12 men, all of whom worked full-time; all of the couples also had at least one child younger than 14. In their interviews, nearly every person expressed their belief that men and women should share the household chores equally, even if that’s not what actually happened in their own homes. Lyonette notes that many of her interviewees alluded to what she called the “myth of male incompetence” — that men are terrible at housework, anyway, so why even let them bother? Psst: Don’t believe them; they’ve been pulling this for years.